Redefining the Definition – A Life’s Dream and Holding Onto Every Moment As You Go

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I know I have so much that is in my head that I need to get out and write about what has been happening in the last few weeks – yet to rush these reflections does not do justice and the meaningfulness of these events, so I need to just spill the details when I feel I have the thoughts together the way they should be  – but one little commercial break before I try to catch up –

Of course the advent of the ASF 2015 Leadership Awards, leading to Capping, leading to graduation is a bittersweet one for me, I really feel I take for granted the time I have with so many amazing talented and special individuals that have become my family over the course of four years and less, and yet, everyone feels as they have been with me from the very beginning of my life.  This fact itself is a priceless moment that cannot be replayed or repeated and mean the same thing again.  Ever. I am grateful for such a gift.

Through all the trails and the hardships that go with a day in and day out adjustment to so many volatile elements that change in the field of education, I have been taught and have learned so much about myself by the beautiful individuals that have allowed me to share their lives with them. I am still amazing at how fast life goes so incredibly fast, the moments, the memories, so much – when I want it to slow down it seems it is already past – wow.

I see myself changing as well and as a result of the people around me.  I remember when I was pursuing and aspiring to get my first Master’s to be able to open more doors to my future, and to help insure I would not be stuck with just one certain, specific type of job.  Then as I headed into my second Master’s the same reason, not wanting to be pigeon-holed into one type of career only as I like to be involved in multiple aspects of life involving my career.

Looking back, and at this point in my life, I simply wish I had this objective in mind – to pursue opportunities, be it a degree or life experiences, to make a bigger impact on those that need it in the world, to truly make a better world available.  I feel I want to be less selfish with putting my future ahead and trying to be involved with many more life and world changing experiences that do just that, redefine who I am and the views of what is me.  I realized I have tried to do that without realizing it along the way, the challenge of changing how see people view things they have always seen in one way, the way they see the role of an educator (and not just a teacher), how they see a librarian, how they see life and its purpose and how it can be changed, reshaped, changed, how they see each other, in having someone to present a different view of what they have seen all this time, and through all this an education in itself evolves.

I can’t stress how lucky I have been in my life to have individuals surround me that truly allow me to do that, believe that there is a flip side to how people view things they have viewed all their lives.  Along the way, I have realized how incredibly fast life goes, and in a blink in an eye, you can ride long or jump in and try to make a difference in some aspect of the lives around you.  I cherish the opportunity to do the latter and realize that is my life’s dream, so continue to make a new view of life and the world in as many ways I can.  Some people want fame, want a sense of inner accomplishment and success, and I truly just want to be always knows as the person who would take a standard definition and redefine that definition.  I am not in the least doubtful that my life is defined by those that surround me and share this journey, and truly, my heart keeps growing from the strength, beauty, and potential of some pretty amazing people that have guided me through my life.

Through a random series of events, I was drawn to the accidental viewing of Fast and Furious #7.  I was in a taxi for almost 2 hours in a typical Friday night/Polanco to Roma traffic jam, and I was just sucked in.  This past weekend, I just stumbled across the Fast and Furious 7 story, and the bittersweet story of Paul WalkerWatching at the 4:12 time of this video, pretty much says it all.  I have always loved the influence and emphasis on family throughout all the Fast and Furious series.  Of course the engine and motor head aspect of my life and fascination with the automobile has sucked me in but that underlying theme of celebrating “Saludo a mi familia” always always cemented the deal for me in my heart.  As I began to learn more about the late and great Paul Walker, I realized how much of a hero he really was.  The fact that he set up the Reach Out WorldWide Organization that is helping Nepal now, but was set up to help immediate needs for tragedies all over the world.  How he lived for being able to use the power (see :42 here)  he achieved for a higher and better cause, often questioning and arguing with himself about the right to have the power and fame that found him, and realizing from the friends that surrounded him that fame, that money, allowed him to do whatever his heart wished, and he chose to give back to as many as he could.

Paul Walker was in an accident but on his way to a benefit on the morning he passed away.  The fact that he devoted every spare moment he could to others, that he directed the reason for his stardom to truly be the source to help others, I just find Paul Walker to literally be the hero and idol I could only dream about being.  His motives make sense to me and I truly want to make sure my life will be a stepping stone to change the direction of tragedies that might occur and serve as a better way to improve other’s lives around me.  If I can make this change even moreso in the next few years, I want to move in this direction.  Spending priceless moments to serve and help others would be a dream of mine and I hope to move in this direction in the next 10 years to make that shift to see how opportunities open up for me to do so.

I am so incredibly proud of the students that became so much a part of my life for the last four years, they have inspired me and motivated me, pushed me to the point of tears forming when I realize so suddenly they are moving on and I will not be able to see them with the regularity I became so used to.  As I said, everything changes before you get comfortable with it – and so much more the reason to not take anything for granted.  I worry sometimes that there are so many opportunities I want to seize to be able to help so many people around me that I have not even attempted yet, and I have seen so many people so close to me disappear so suddenly, and each time, I am pulled back to what their life meant to those around them and wanting always serve as a beacon for their life and not have their life be in vain.

I saw in Paul Walker from the amazing memorial to him, to the information I did not know of how much he gave of himself to others, the best present he could ever present as a big screen actor, giving the benefits right back to children, adults, families who would never have the chance to better their lives without a little help, and they deserve that help.  His heart was one that never disappears because his spirit rises above the expectations of the me-first portion of the population that does exist today.  I can only see the amazing beauty and potential of some blessed students that have graduated this year, and I hope opportunities afforded to them will be reproduced ten times more and infused into a world desperate for individuals willing to create a much better world.

I have already received the beautiful gifts of time to share dreams, that turn into realities, and feel the swelling of my heart in pride at how much initiative many students from the 2015 graduating class had and put out into the world to impact others.  Life is so powerful when you have allies and those that inspire you to add that color to life that only moves the world further ahead and that becomes more optimistic.

In a world where truly it does seem to be that disfunction and negativity seem to play more of an important role the value if individuals to stand up, and any make a difference is so much more worth it’s weight in gold.  I want to find those pockets of gold to be able to go abroad and make impacts that do not just become verbal uplifts, but turn the verbal into more doing.  The world deserves that, the story of Paul Walker should be the revered model we all would and could do to make the world a beautiful place.  I have seen the magic of how much he gave of himself in the very spirits and lives of so many that graduated this past Saturday, and my soul feels so much lighter, with the promise of what these young men and women can offer for the world to move in such a better direction.

When I came across the song and video, When I See You Again, I melted.  Everything jelled.  The beautiful students that have surrounded me all my life, the path to serve a greater good to make a difference in the trenches of tragedy, reaching out to students that travel to other parts of the world to pass virtues they picked up and so the chain of impact becomes stronger as more and more years of individuals can realize what they can do to change everything, for the better.

I feel that the years ahead are the real fruits of when I see how I will make a larger difference, and I look forward to it.  If I can get across with  singular life a way to facilitate a better life for others, I think is maybe the best possible life one could ever dream of, the satisfaction of making a difference, and letting others being empowered to do the same, there are so many possible opportunities to do so.  I thank my moments constantly for always being surrounded by individual that believe that this is possible, anything is possible, and for that very reason, you secured a piece of my heart forever.  That is a gift that cannot be put into words that lives inside us forever.

When I watch the trailer for the song When I See You Again, I think back about all those individuals that have been taken so suddenly in my life, I think about all the people that have become family I have been lucky enough to have pushed me forward, and I think about what the future holds thanks to these very people, the world is a beautiful place thanks to these very people that my life has been blessed to be with.  Life is good with the family I have acquired along this way in my life and truly everything  is worth Holding Every Moment As You Go!

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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